In the subtitle of his new memoir, Art Garfunkel refers to himself as “an underground man.” Such a reference doesn't seem plausible for the tall man with soft, tight curls who sang alongside Paul Simon through the 60s, creating some of the most meaningful and memorable music of the era. Art Garfunkel's stature was no match for his soaring voice, which truly seemed to call down heaven, adding the emotional depth to Paul Simon’s penetrating writing.

Art Garfunkel titled his book, “what is all but luminous: notes from an underground man” without capital letters, but his choice is no deference to the contribution he made to music created with Paul Simon, or the partnership the two shared.

The musician mused about that collaboration, his early life, and how he appreciates both his past and his present on CBS "This Morning" on September 26.

Holy sounds

The distinct mesh of harmonies like no other with meaningful lyrics that could read like a medieval poem or modern novel is a source of pride to Art Garfunkel, and not truly a surprise. As a Jewish boy growing up in New York, the vocalist would sing to himself while shooting basketballs, and sing very often in his neighborhood temple, where the “big, high ceilings and lovely wood walls” yielded the “wonderful” reverb that would allow the vocalist’s own tones to echo back to him and feed his spirit. There was a spirituality connected to his singing from his earliest memory, and he describes that the surroundings of the temple “put tails on your notes” for an affect that infatuated the young man.

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From numbers to notions

No one can imagine “The Sound of Silence,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “The Boxer,” or “Scarborough Fair” without the perfect and lilting voice of Art Garfunkel bringing the songs to their ethereal fullest. Garfunkel had already attained a Master’s degree in mathematics [VIDEO] and was well into his Ph.D. in 1964 when Paul Simon invited him to become a steady partner in performing, and that decision changed everything, and of course of Art Garfunkel's life. Nonetheless, the artist finds great value in “wandering” through life, literally, and gathering the experiences along the way.

“I’ve walked the United States, and I've walked across Europe,” notes the singer-songwriter. The inspirations he takes from his journeys here and there frequently give him the idea “of a first-line” and from there, a song or a book, in this case, is created.

Garfunkel chose the word “luminous” because it is “a poet's notion,” a way to describe a just awakened or moving vision of beautiful surroundings through blurry tears.

“All you see is the light-- the luminous,” the writer insisted.

Too precious

While Art Garfunkel treasures his relationship with Paul Simon, describing their bond as “intense” like a marriage, he also knows that too much contact and handling of a precious thing can damage it. “It's best not talked about. “You have to leave it alone,” he reflects. The two still have infrequent meetings and encounters. At this stage, Garfunkel is 75, still sounding in good voice, but knows that “no, we probably won't” is the answer when it comes to the Rock 'n Roll Hall Of Fame duo reuniting.

Before the Global Citizen festivals of the last few years, Simon and Garfunkel's 1981 concert in Central Park was the last major musical event held on the sprawling city greenery.

Art Garfunkel cherishes “Scarborough Fair” above all the songs created with Paul Simon, dubbing the 1966 “canticle” “the best, most flowing, most organic thing we ever recorded.” He should know. He was at the mixing console merging the unmistakable harmonies that he was half responsible for forging. He doesn't mind “Cecilia” as a fan favorite. “Can't go wrong with that one,” he assures.